It’s the conversations with the founders. It is the mentoring. It’s the tough love. That’s where I get my joy and my energy.
At 50+, it was “a growing up moment” for her, Venice Strachan-Singh says. Like many job seekers in this age cohort, trying to replicate a previous job is tricky, and the rejection can be shattering. “I thought I was such a star at what I did, and it would be a breeze to find another job, but it was a tremendous blow to my ego,” she says. “My self-esteem went down the tubes.”
“As an entrepreneur, your most valuable resources are your time and attention. It’s best to save your time and attention for activities that are really central to your value proposition,” says Daniel Forbes, an associate professor at the Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota
The internet has empowered adult learners by providing new online tools to ramp up education and training. “The need for workers to keep pace with fast-moving economic, cultural and technological changes, combined with longer careers, will add up to great swaths of adults who need to learn more than generations past — and faster than ever,” said Luke Yoquinto, a research associate at the M.I.T. AgeLab.
“An intergenerational team brings more diversity in thoughts and strengths that can help a small business reach a larger audience more effectively,” says Kimberly A. Eddleston, a Northeastern University entrepreneurship professor and a senior editor on the EIX Editorial Board of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.
In January 2021, 275,000 women dropped out of the labor force, amounting to roughly 80% of all workers over the age 20 who exited the workforce last month. The total number of women who have exited the labor force since February 2020 comes to more than 2.3 million. By comparison, nearly 1.8 million men have left the labor force during this same time frame.
“In the initial stages of entrepreneurship, it’s imperative [to have a support group] because that’s a period full of unknowns, self-doubt and in many unfortunate cases, loneliness,” Nathalie Molina Niño, author of “Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs” and chief executive of O³, a privately held investment company, told me.
The pandemic intensified the labor market inequities older workers faced in securing jobs. It is quite probable that COVID-19 will force many workers in their 50s into an early retirement or gig jobs.
“We provide the platform, the tools and the resources, and the mentors bring the magic,” Dana Griffin says.